First Production Copy and Final Assembly
We received the first couple mass produced copies of the game in the mail last week, and they look great. We'll go through the components with lots of photos and also show the issue we found with the dice.
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Estimated delivery: September-October
We are still on track for a September-October delivery (for most backers -- depending on your country of residence, it may arrive sooner or later. This assumes minimal delays in customs)
Mass Production Copy
On July 22, we received the "MPC" (the first mass produced copy of the game). Joseph and I checked over all the components for quality and quantity. In short, the quality is superb.
We have pictures of all the final components at the bottom of this update.
Blue Dice Issue
We did find one issue with the production copy: the blue dice in the MPC has a much darker shade than we received in the pre-production copy (PPC).
Our manufacturer apologized profusely for the error and they ordered replacement dice in the correct color, which we approved since fixing the issue only delays production by 2 days.
Here are some photos of those dark blue dice that arrived in the MPC we received. The lighter blue dice are from the PPC and are the correct color. Although the darker dice don't look bad in these photos, we find their color is disappointingly muted when playing.
Fixing the dice issue only extends the timeline by 2 days because the factory will start final assembly with the other components while the new dice are being manufactured.
Check out this cool video that our fantastic factory sent us showing part of the box manufacturing process!
Here is the planned schedule for the next few months:
Manufacturing and assembly finishes in Shenzhen, China. Games will be split up into shipping containers by continent (Australia, Europe, North America).
Late August/early September
Games going to Asia are trucked to a fulfillment center in Longhai, China. Games will be packaged into orders and shipped to backers. Loaded shipping containers for Australia/Europe/North America will make their way to port and be loaded onto ships.
Ships start arriving at the Australian/European/North American ports. Games will go through customs and we will pay import taxes. The games will be freighted to our regional fulfillment centers (in NSW, AU; Strasbourg, FR; Florida, US). Then they will be packaged into orders and shipped to backers. (For games going to Canada, a few pallets of games will be forwarded from Florida to a Canadian fulfillment center and then packed and shipped.)
Note: Our manufacturing and fulfillment partners are currently arranging the freight details, so we still don't have exact dates yet and this timeline is just an estimate.
Orders in Europe will be shipped from a fulfillment center in Strasbourg, France, instead of from the UK as previously mentioned. This helps mitigate some Brexit complications.
First Mass Produced Copy
Here are some pictures of the mass production copies we received in the mail last week.
So here's a list of things that feature in these photos that weren't present in the PPC:
- Shrink wrapped box
- Card decks plastic wrapped
- Dice in a bag
- LUCI award sticker in correct place
- Promo Pack barcode sticker applied to pouch
- Token Sheet instructions
The MPC also uses different manufacturing and printing technologies that become obvious upon closer inspection. We'll zoom in on the components and highlight these differences as well.
Click on the images to view them in higher quality.
Here's the shrink wrapped box, complete with the LUCI award sticker. This is the first copy we've received that was actually shrinkwrapped.
The mass produced tray looks the same as the PPC version.
The token sheets now include instructions to place the sheets underneath the box tray after you've punched out the tokens. This keeps the box tray flush with the box lid and helps keep pieces in place when moving the game.
Of the 6 large tokens, only the 4 solid colored Tool tokens are used in the game. The factory and robot head tokens are just for fun. They can be used as alternate first player tokens or as a component for custom rules.
In the photo below, the pre-production tokens are on top and the MPC tokens are on the bottom.
In the MPC, the clear UV coating is better aligned, the tokens' texture is smoother, and the edge is curved.
Here we've enlarged the tokens to show the print quality. The lines are crisper on the MPC and the dot patterns are different.
The MPC halftone-like pattern looks pretty cool. The dots look large in the photos below (at least, compared to the PPC dots), but in reality, they are so tiny that no matter how hard we try, we can't see them with unaided eyes.
We leave the technical analysis of printing method as an exercise for the reader.
The MPC tokens all have a rounded top edge, which adds a little softness and dimension to the otherwise flat tokens. These tokens are die cut, where the PPC tokens were laser cut.
The dot painting seems slightly more accurate in the MPC than in the PPC. Note that the production game will have the light blue dice instead of the dark blue ones shown in the pictures.
First player Token
It's the right shape!
The white-core cardstock feels good and the colors look bright.
The rulebook looks great. The colors are vibrant and the text is sharp.
PPC (left) vs MPC (right)
Here's the pre-production copy we received in April next to the mass production copy we received last week.
The PPC (on the left) looks a little lighter in some photos, but that's due to uneven lighting.
Overall, the MPC is definitely a step up in quality from the PPC. At a glance, they look basically identical (as shown in the pictures below). But on closer inspection, the little details become obvious and add up to make a noticeably higher quality product.
You can view all the photos (and a few more) in high quality in this Google Drive folder. Try zooming in!
Coming up next
- Final assembly of the games should be complete in a couple of weeks and then the games will be loaded into shipping containers and prepared for freight. We'll post an update once we have details.
- We're still working on the Thai and Hungarian rulebook translations, but we'll try to finish them in the next month.
See you in the next update!
And thank you again for your support!
Joseph and Justin